Saturday, December 30, 2023

Best of 2023


I have  not accomplished as much this year as in years past, but I have always loved making pillowcases for Ryan's Case for Smiles. So this year this blog post garnered the most views.

How did your year add up?

Linked with Best of 2023

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The joys of Christmas

 Nothing fills my heart more than my grandchildren.  And it is so much fun to watch them having fun.

Two little munchkins with my daughter.

Hope your  Christmas was blessed!

Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas


May the celebration of the birth of Jesus inspire us all to rejoice and to serve Him with humble hearts. May we always remember the "Reason for the Season". That our Heavenly Father loved us so much that He gave His beloved Son to this fallen world, to die for our sins so that we may live forever with Him. It's a gift that cannot be earned or worked for. 
It's free to all men.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2023

Christmas Prayer


Loving Father, help us remember the birth of Jesus,
that we may share in the Song of the Angels,
the Gladness of the Shepherds,
and the Worship of the Wise Men.

Close the door of hate and open the door of Love all over the world.
Let Kindness come with every gift and
Good Desires with every greeting.

Deliver us from evil by the Blessing which Christ brings,
and Teach us to be Merry with Clear Hearts.

May the Christmas morning make us happy to be Thy Children
and the Christmas evening bring us to our beds with Grateful Thoughts,
Forgiving and Forgiven.

For Jesus' Sake....Amen          (Robert Lewis Stevenson)

Friday, December 22, 2023

What to do this Christmas

What to do this Christmas

This Christmas, mend a quarrel. 
Seek out a forgotten friend. 
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust. 
Write a letter.
Share some treasure. 
Give a soft answer. 
Encourage youth. 
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed. 
Keep a promise. 
Find the time. 
Forego a grudge. 
Forgive an enemy. 
Apologize if you were wrong. 
Try to understand. 
Examine your demands on others. 
Think first of someone else. 
Appreciate others. 
Be kind; be gentle. 
Laugh a little. 
Laugh a little more. 
Deserve confidence. 
Take up arms against malice. 
Decry complacency. 
Express your gratitude. 
Go to church. 
Welcome a stranger. 
Gladden the heart of a child. 
Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth. 
Speak your love. 
Speak it again. 
Speak it once again. 

Christmas is a celebration, and there is no celebration that compares with the realization of its true meaning - with the sudden stirring of the heart that has extended itself toward the core of life. Then, only then, is it possible to grasp the significance of that first Christmas - to savor in the inward ear the sweet music of the angel choir; to envision the star-struck sky, and glimpse, behind the eyelids, the ray of light that fell athwart a darkened path and changed the world. 
                                                                                             Author Unknown

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Christmas Carols

The first Christmas hymns were written in the 5th Century. Originally composed in Latin, they contained primarily theological topics. Carols (noels), songs with more human and personal subjects, appeared in the 1200's. During the Middles Ages (AD 900-1400) people incorporated drama and plays into the celebration of Christmas. Carols became an integral part of these re-enactments. After the plays, carolers strolled down the street singing - thus, the birth of street caroling. Many of the traditional favorite Christmas carols, such as "O Come, All Yet Faithful" and "Silent Night" were written in the 1800's.The publication of Christmas music books in the 19th century helped to widen the appeal of carols. 

Christmas songs such as "Jingle Bells" and "White Christmas" came later and reflect a more secular viewpoint of the holiday. Handel's' Messiah, an oratorio first performed in 1742, had a modest public reception but gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best known choral works in Western music. 

Musicologists agree that Christmas music is among the finest written in the world. 

ref- Wikipedia

American Holidays - Bill Perry

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Wrestling match

 I have been wrestling with this Christmas quilt. 

I am determined to have it finished and on the bed before December 25!

But right now it is giving me a run for my money :-)

                                       Needle and  Thread Thursday  
                                      Sew and Tell

                                      Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?

                                      Finished or not Friday

                                      Peacock Party

Monday, December 18, 2023

Christmas lights


Edward Hibberd Johnson is credited for stringing lights around a Christmas tree in New York City in 1882. Johnson was a friend and partner of Thomas Edison. Edison's Illumination company hand wired 80 red white and blue light bulbs and wound them around his Christmas tree. Before electric Christmas lights, families would use candles, which proved to be dangerous and often led to fires.

In 1895 President Grover Cleveland requested that the White House Christmas tree be illuminated with hundreds of multi-colored electric light bulbs.

On Christmas Eve 1923, President Calvin Coolidge started the Christmas celebration by lighting the National Christmas Tree with 3,000 electric lights. 

The Star of Bethlehem is the source for the presence of lights as ornaments. They are usually placed at the top of Christmas trees to convey the idea of  Jesus' birth in Bethlehem. The Bible pictures the world in spiritual darkness until the birth of Christ, and compares His birth to light penetrating a dark place. 

Some 150 million sets of lights are sold in the U.S every year.

reference: History

Library of Congress 

American Holidays - Bill Perry

Friday, December 15, 2023

Reflecting on sweet memories

As I look back on this past year I am amazed at the talent, creativity and beauty that is shared via blogging. The internet has surely made it a very small world.

As we enter yet another year, there is time for reflection. Remembering the years that have past. I'd like to share with you about a very special lady. One who filled a hole in our lives.

She was my teacher, friend, and soul mate in treasure hunting for over 30 years. I used to tag along with her to yard sales, antique shops and all kinds of second hand stores. She loved paper weights, and she also loved vases. She had quite a collection of both. I have several of her paper weights displayed in my home.

But more importantly, she loved my children and was a huge part of their growing up years.

My own mom passed away many years ago, before my children were born. She stepped in as an auntie, but more like a grandmother. Her generous and loving spirit filled us with her unconditional love.
Every Christmas my children and I would descend on her house and decorate for the season. It was a tradition we held until she no longer was able to live by herself. Our memories of her prick my heart, missing her laughter and gracious hospitality.

Very rarely does someone come into your life that has left such a deep imprint on your heart. I am most thankful to have known and loved her.


Before the year is out, take time to tell someone you love them. For some people, it can be a very lonely time of year.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The legend of the Candy Cane

The red and white striped candy cane has become one of the most popular symbols of Christmas. Legend has it that in 1670 a German choirmaster, wishing to remedy the noise caused by children during church, asked a local candy maker to make sugar sticks for them. He asked to add a crock to the top of each stick, which would remind the children of the shepherds who visited the infant Jesus. The candy was originally white in color. The candy cane became associated with Christmas time.

The white canes made their appearance in the U.S. in 1847. Designed by a candy maker in Indiana, he thought about several aspects of Christmas and used these ideas in the candy canes design. The pure white represents both the virgin birth of Jesus and His sinless life on earth. The smaller red stripes symbolize the "stripes" Jesus received when He was whipped shortly before He died.  The larger red stripes stand for his blood that was shed as he died on the cross. The curled top makes it appear as a shepherd's staff. Upside down, the cane forms the letter "J" the first letter of the name of Jesus. Most of these symbols are not commonly known today. 

ref - American Holidays - Bill Perry'



Monday, December 11, 2023

Christmas Traditions

 As we start the Christmas season, I thought I would share Christmas traditions that are typical for our country. 

Christmas is the holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Although it is a religious holiday, many modern American customs were brought about from other countries. The Christmas season usually starts the day after Thanksgiving. 

"Christmas" comes from the phrase Christes Masse , the name Roman Catholics used for worship service on December 25th. Another name is Advent, meaning "coming", awaiting the Messiah.  In A.D. 336 the Roman Emperor Constantine declared December 25th to be the celebration of Christ's birth.   When the Empire split between east and west, the church in the east recognized January 6th as the celebration date. The time between December 25th and January 6th forms what has become known as the "12 Days of Christmas."

The Advent calendar started in Germany as a way for children to count down to Christmas by opening a door revealing a small gift. The tradition of the Advent calendar has become a favorite with children. Not only for the treat, but for the anticipation of Christmas day. The whole Advent experience represents hope and anticipation.

The advent candles are lit each of the four Sundays before Christmas. The first one represents hope. The second represents faith.The third joy and the fourth represents peace. The optional fifth one represent light and purity. It is placed in the middle and lit on Christmas day.

refrence - American Holidays - Bill Perry 

Friday, December 8, 2023

Free motion quilting

Free motion quilting on my DSM has always been a bit of a challenge for me.  I keep practicing and working on trying new pathways.  One day I came across a video that gave me a little more help.  You can find it on Amy's Free Motion Quilting blog.

I discovered that I may be going too fast when I am quilting.  As I watched Amy's video I could see how she has much more control then I have, and it is mostly because she is going at a slower speed. 

I know it's a little hard to see the stitching on this fabric, but I did feel a lot more control by slowing down.  I also set my machine for 1/2 speed. I hope Amy's video will help you too!

Happy Stitching.

Monday, December 4, 2023

Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange


Welcome! Today is my day to share the Virtual Christmas Cookie Exchange. Thank you to Carol from Just Let Me Quilt for organizing this hop every year.  My recipe isn't exactly a cookie, but it is a delicious snack and a nice little gift idea.

Sweet Roasted Nuts

1 bag of pecan halves (or 1 1/2 cups)
1 bag of walnuts (or 1 1/2 cups)

Melt 1/2 stick of butter, 1/4 cup of brown sugar, a pinch of salt and a little vanilla in a sauce pan.

Coat the nuts in the mixture and then spread on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. You will know when they are done when you smell them!

Cool on wax paper before storing

I found these little canning jars at Target, and they are the perfect size for gift giving.

These are so delicious to eat and you could make someone very very happy!


Many years ago my friend and I made Peppermint Trees table decorations for a Christmas luncheon.  Over the years I've made the trees to give as gifts. They are great for co-workers, friends, teachers or for the person who has everything :-)

Start with these basics -

I've always used hairpins, but you can use straight pins too.  I like the hairpins best because you just pull a candy off the tree and the pin stays in place. No worries about discarding a straight pin.

Start with the bottom layer

 You can make the candies as tight or loose as you prefer.  I like to leave a little space between rows.

The closer you get to the top, you will need to angle the pins into the styrofoam.  
Cut pieces of thin green ribbon and pull them into a knot (not too tight) 
 then insert another hairpin

 which goes right into the tree.

Put as many or as few ribbons into the tree as you like.  I loop ribbon into another hairpin and stick it into the top of the tree.